Larson finishes 10th, after elevator day at Dover

To call Kyle Larson’s run a roller coaster day would be an understatement.

He dropped to the rear for the initial start, because his car failed pre-race inspection three times. Starting 38th, he was up to 36th after caution flew for the first time on the third lap. He worked his way up to 28th, when Corey LaJoie’s blown engine brought out the caution on Lap 21.

Larson and Alex Bowman opted to stay out while the leaders pitted, and restarted second. He spun his tires on the restart and briefly held up the inside line. While he recovered and held off Keselowski’s attempt to get him loose on Lap 35 and Lap 39, he couldn’t do it a third time and Keselowski usurped him for second in Turn 4 on Lap 42. Staying out got Larson to the front, but his used tires were no match for the leaders that pitted under the second caution.

A cycle of green flag stops on Lap 95 allowed him an opportunity to stay in the Top-10, when it cycled out, but an uncontrolled tire penalty forced him to serve a pass through penalty and trapped him two laps down in 31st.

Larson was 30th when the caution flew for the conclusion of the first stage. With most of the field pitting under the caution, he took a wave-around, regained a lap and moved up to 26th.

Larson came a car short of the lucky dog when caution flew on Lap 154. While he was in position to get it at the end of the second stage, Harvick put more cars down a lap in the closing laps, a result of a long green flag run, and Larson remained trapped a lap down in 22nd.

He got back on the lead lap when Kyle Busch suffered an engine failure with 129 to go and worked his way up to 15th when rain put the field under the red flag with 84 to go.

Larson restarted 10th with 75 to go. In the final 50 laps, however, the handling of his car went towards the freeside and fell out of the Top-10. He broke back into the Top-10 when Bowman made an unscheduled stop, and brought his car home to a 10th-place finish.

“Yeah, it was a hard-fought top 10 for sure,” Larson said. “We were three laps down at one point. I guess happy about the Top-10. I was hoping we could pick off some cars there that last run once we finally got on the lead lap, but it was just so hard to pass. Everybody was the same speed until the very end of the run and then you could kind of move around. Found a little bit of time and was catching a few of them in front of me, but just ran out of time.”

Larson’s 10th-place finish was his seventh Top-10 finish at Dover International Speedway, a track at which he maintains an 8.2 finishing average.

He leaves Dover 10th in points, 159 back of Kyle Busch.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of

Tucker White
Tucker White
I've followed NASCAR for well over 20 years of my life, both as a fan and now as a member of the media. As of 2024, I'm on my ninth season as a traveling NASCAR beat writer. For all its flaws and dumb moments, NASCAR at its best produces some of the best action you'll ever see in the sport of auto racing. Case in point: Kyle Larson's threading the needle pass at Darlington Raceway on May 9, 2021. On used-up tires, racing on a worn surface and an aero package that put his car on the razor's edge of control, Larson demonstrated why he's a generational talent. Those are the stories I want to capture and break down. In addition to NASCAR, I also follow IndyCar and Formula 1. As a native of Knoxville, Tennessee, and a graduate of the University of Tennessee, I'm a diehard Tennessee Volunteers fan (especially in regards to Tennessee football). If covering NASCAR doesn't kill me, down the road, watching Tennessee football will. I'm also a diehard fan of the Atlanta Braves, and I lived long enough to see them win a World Series for the first time since 1995 (when I was just a year old). I've also sworn my fan allegiance to the Nashville Predators, though that's not paid out as much as the Braves. Furthermore, as a massive sports dork, I follow the NFL on a weekly basis. Though it's more out of an obligation than genuine passion (for sports dorks, following the NFL is basically an unwritten rule). Outside of sports, I'm a major cinema buff and a weeb. My favorite film is "Blazing Saddles" and my favorite anime is "Black Lagoon."


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